Social networking is essential for business

Posted by Andrea Petrou

Businesses must work on fitting around a changing landscape known as "shareconomy" or risk being left behind, Ovum has warned.

The analyst company said that in the future employees will face a different way of working life, never tethered to one location and able to share and access knowledge more easily.

It said that this was as a result of the "acceleration of consumerisation and the influx of devices and platforms entering the workplace". This includes a wide range of interconnected, social, mobile and cloud-based collaboration platforms on multiple devices, which would  enable employees to participate in the “shareconomy”.

In its ‘Enterprise 2020’ study into the future of enterprise collaboration and its role in fostering greater productivity and innovation. Ovum pinpointed Citrix, Google, VMware and Yammer as the disruptive players leading the charge in this transformation.

It said these companies offered their own "unique vision" of how continued growth in enterprise mobility, the cloud enterprise application ecosystem, and the behavioural impact of social networks could enable businesses to function more efficiently and creatively in the future. As a result businesses had to be more agile and more responsive than they were today.

However, Ovum pointed out that companies didn't have to go it alone with the industry already delivering tools for today and roadmaps for tomorrow.

And there are a range of companies already helping to do this. Google, which is at the height of consumer web behaviour, which is finding its way into the enterprise and affecting employees’ expectations of the collaboration tools and connected devices they use for work.

Google's position across cloud services markets, mobility and social networking means that it brings a unique perspective on the road ahead for enterprise IT, Ovum pointed out.

Yammer was also showcased by the analyst company as "pioneering what social networking and collaboration can do in the enterprise", taking behaviours learned in the consumer space on platforms such as Facebook and converting them into business productivity and new models for management.

Citrix was listed as directly reaching connected employees to empower them to collaborate from anywhere, accessing apps and data across any connected screen, while VMware was claimed to be transforming from an IT-focused organisation to one focused on the end user. This was said to let end users  connect to their data, applications and desktops from any device without having to sacrifice IT security and control.